Saturday, September 10, 2005

I was going to say...

I was going to write more about Katrina. More about the grief and anger and outrage and disgust I've been immersed in for the last two weeks.

Perhaps talk about Michael Brown being recalled to Washington, to prepare for Ophelia, now swirling around out in the Atlantic.

Or yet another villain, Rep. Baker of Baton Rouge saying, "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."

Or, certainly more inspirational than Baker or Brown, 6 year old hero Deamonte Love.

It just seemed terribly self-indulgent, though, considering what the victims of the storm are going through. Besides, other bloggers are saying it all, and saying it better.

Meanwhile, the perfidy goes on. From the NY Times: "
WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 - A three-judge federal appeals court panel ruled unanimously on Friday that President Bush had the authority to detain as an enemy combatant an American citizen who fought United States forces on foreign soil."

We can't afford to get too exhausted. We can't stop watching what happens. Because this administration has lots more people to kill, and the deaths of a few thousand of our poorer, more marginalized citizens mean precisely nothing to them. That's becoming more clear, every day.

Perhaps in another few days, I'll be able to think and say something intelligent about something else. Biodiesel and alternative energy sources. Or hope for an almost-forgotten endangered species. Or how the Red Cross first-aid class went. Something besides the smirking villainy residing in the White House.

I remember being a kid, and reading a biography of Abraham Lincoln. I was filled with profound admiration (and a blossoming but then-unrecognized love of history) and read every book about presidents that I could find in the little school library.

I understand very well that this administration's actions and attitudes will be fascinating, from a historical perspective. From a safe distance.

Sort of like Idi Amin.


Dawno said...

It's overwhelming, isn't it. When folks asked me what I did over the Labor Day weekend I couldn't really explain how much time I spent writing about Katrina so I just said, oh, I just hung around the house.

Lori A. Basiewicz said...

I see you mention biodiesel fuel. I don't know about elsewhere in the country, but the condition of the crops in Illinois are not going to help fuel prices. Our two main crops are corn -- used in ethanol -- and soybeans -- used in the creation of biodiesel. The last I knew, almost 60% of the corn crop was considered lost as was over 40% of the soybean crop.

Even more reason to lace on the walking shoes, pump up the bicycle tires, and investigate public transportation.

Dawno said...

I hear, although I have not experienced this in person, that in San Francisco there are biodiesel conveyances (again, not sure if they're busses or other vehicles) that use recycled fryer oils. The bit on the radio I recall mentioned that riding in a car behind one of them meant you kept smelling 'french fries'...wonder if it's true.

Tish Grier said...

hmm...interesting that you recalled Idi Amin...and I agree we will have a similar reaction when we look back at the disaster in N.O...

I'm going to find out tomorrow about volunteering with the Red Cross. Apparently, they're going to need alot of volunteers....more than they have as the ones in the field will need to be relieved in the near future. Don't know what I can do or if they will take me, but we'll see. This is going to go on for a very long time

Ms M said...

It is great what people are doing to help. The mobilisation through the blogosphere is something to behold! In some ways though I don't wish to harp on about "pulling together" and "focusing on the positive" in a time such as this. I worry that this keys into a conservative agenda to understate and white wash the inadequacy of the official response. However, it must still be said. Watching from a distance I'm really touched by the efforts of most ordinary folks. I am equally respectful of the expressions of anger and frustration. It's a tough mix to juggle. Stay caring but stay angry, stay active and stay alert!

Mac said...

Dawno, we can't afford to get overwhelmed. But yes, it is. I spent most of the weekend completely frozen in front of the computer, with the TV playing continuous coverage in the background.

What struck me was that the more informal internet updates, mostly from blogs, were beating the media actually on the scene--sometimes by days--with reports about what was happening.

Lori--we have a big biodiesel refinery in Seattle, run by a guy who laughingly says he aims to someday be "bigger than Exxon". We grow a lot of the corn and soybeans he uses, in the eastern part of WA state. I may have to look into converting my truck, as soon as biodiesel becomes a bit more commercially available.

Tish, I'm doing the same thing with the local chapter of the Red Cross--rumor has it they're going to need somewhere in the neighborhood of another 40,000 people to swap out for the volunteers already there, who are physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.

Ms M-You are, as usual, precisely right in your analysis of how the new conservatism works: if the public will step in and assume the burden of responsibility for sheltering storm victims, then the administration doesn't need to spend the money, nor get their hands dirty, eh? It's looking more and more like a trend, to me.

The evacuation plan on the local level in New Orleans was essentially to abandon the people who couldn't get out. They were calling it: "Operation Brother's Keeper." I'll find the links to support that a bit later tonight, I'm putting together another post.

Dawno said...

Brothers Keeper was the program that they were going to issue a DVD about this month -- to little too late as we all well know. It's the subject of my post at I actually bought a copy of the Nexis reprint to make sure I had the source info. It was a $3.00 well spent. All the links I post that refer to it are dead on accurate. The post here by Leonard Witt is very good.